Montreal, Canada - January 31, 2005

January 2005 - Vol. 17

RCPL January 2005 Newsletter includes the following items:

1.
French officer serving with UN killed by Israeli shelling
2. Lebanon ranks 144th in a new survey in regards to political freedoms
3. The European Union asked Syria to withdraw its army from Lebanon
4. President Emile Lahoud referred Hobeika, Hamade cases to the Judicial Council


1. French officer serving with UN killed by Israeli shelling

On January 9, a French officer serving with UN was killed by Israeli shelling, after a Hezbollah bomb attack killed an Israeli soldier and wounded three others near the southern border, Lebanese and U.N officials said.


2. Lebanon ranks 144th in a new survey in regards to political freedoms

In its annual survey, Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world, ranked Lebanon in 144th place among 192 worldwide countries and 6th among 17 Arab countries.
The survey has classified Lebanon in the "Not Free" category since 1995.

The organization evaluates individual countries based on a checklist of questions on political rights and civil liberties that are derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



3. The European Union asked Syria to withdraw its army from Lebanon

On January 19, the European Union asked Syria to respect the U.N. resolution 1559 and withdraw its army and secret service Moukhabarat apparatus from Lebanon and for a timetabled disarmament of Hizbullah.
The move was made in a meeting EU ambassador Patrick Renauld, accompanied by the Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Britain, held with Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud at the Bustros Palace.


4. President Emile Lahoud referred Hobeika, Hamade cases to the Judicial Council

President Emile Lahoud referred the case of the assassination of former minister Elie Hobeika and the assassination attempt against MP Marwan Hamade to the Judicial Council Thursday.

RCPL Welcomes this step and urges the judicial system to increase its investigation in order to catch the criminals.

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